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No Fail Smoothies

How often do you make smoothies?

Do you make the same one over and over, or do you change it up to enjoy different flavor combinations?

Smoothies can be a delicious - and nutritious - treat that you can quickly prepare for breakfast, snacks or even dessert.



Whether you are a beginner or an avid smoothie-maker, we hope this will provide some insights or new ideas, even if it is just to add some variety to your current smoothie routine!

Smoothies are one of those things that most people think, "just throw whatever you have on hand into a blender, and you will have a great smoothie."  That may be true for some (and I greatly admire you if you are able to do just that), but I am one of those people that needs a little guidance.  For people like me, we came up with a smoothie formula to use as a guide for a no-fail smoothie.  By no means do you have to follow this is just a guide.

Get creative and don't limit yourself to just the smoothies you have recipes for!


The Smoothie Formula (makes 2 servings)!

1 cup liquid such as almond milk, milk, or 100% juice (with no added sugar).  You can also use 1/2 cup yogurt along with 3/4 to 1 cup liquid.

+ 1 cup unfrozen fruit (banana, berries, peach, grapes, pineapple, mango, kiwi, or others of your choice)

+ 1 cup frozen fruit (frozen banana, mango, pineapple, berries, or others.  None frozen?  Add to the fruit 1/2 cup of ice!)

+ 1 veggie (OPTIONAL but recommended, about 1/2 to 1 cup spinach, kale, avocado, red cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin or others)

+ 1 Tbsp nutritional boost (OPTIONAL, nut butter, nuts, hemp hearts, flax seeds, chia seeds, or others)

+ 1/2 to 1 Tbsp sweetener (OPTIONAL, 1-2 pitted dates or 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup or honey)


Check out this video from Zonya, where she provides more guidance on this formula and shows you how to make a great smoothie that tastes just like what may be one of your favorite pieces of candy!



Here are a few tips that may help your smoothie-making adventures!


  • Add liquid first!  It will make it easier for the blades of your blender to get things moving.
  • Using some frozen fruit is preferred but, if you don't have frozen, just add 1/2 cup of ice.  Be careful...don't go overboard on the ice or your smoothie's flavors will fade and taste watered-down.
  • Make your smoothie first with no additional sweetener.  Then taste it and add the optional sweetener if desired.  Sometimes the sweetness of the fruit is enough!  If not, try natural sweeteners like honey, pure maple syrup, dried dates, raisins, dried cherries, or even dark chocolate chips!
  • If your liquid is 100% juice, then you definitely should taste your smoothie before adding any more sweetener -- juice can add a huge punch of extra sweetness.


Greens in smoothies?!


YES!  You can use a wide variety of greens in smoothies, everything from spinach to kale - even beet greens and Swiss chard.  Spinach tends to have the most neutral taste, so its taste is easily hidden in most smoothies.  Check out the Mango Mint Green Smoothie.

  • When making a smoothie with greens, you might want to avoid dark berries such as blueberries or blackberries.  This combination can result in a "not so attractive" color.  Or, if you don’t care how it looks — then go for it and add them in!
  • If you are new to smoothie making, or if you are trying to get your kids to be smoothie lovers, and you think the color might be a turn-off, it might help to serve the smoothies in a colored cup (not a clear cup) with a straw.  Of course, the extra thick smoothie or milkshake straws are also a lot more fun!


Boost of nutrition!


  • Smoothies are an excellent way to get lots of nutrients in one place.  You can get one or two servings of fruits and vegetables.  And you can add nut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, or even 100% cocoa powder, which happens to be an antioxidant superstar!
  • You can buy flax seeds, and even chia seeds, in ground form.  If you don't like the noticeable seeds in your smoothie, either grind them in the blender first or purchase them already ground.  When looking for hemp seeds, try to find hemp hearts (they have a softer texture and are more easily digested).
  • When made at home with REAL ingredients, smoothies are a fantastic way to get a wide variety of nutrients.  When you blend them, it actually breaks down the cells of the foods and makes them easier to digest - this makes the nutrients ready for your body to absorb!


Too much sugar?

We recently received a great question from an Eat REAL America member concerned that the Purple Power Smoothie might have too much sugar for someone trying to manage diabetes.  Here is the nutrition information for one serving:


It would be easy to look at this ONE THING and think, "that's too much sugar!"  But it is actually VERY GOOD for several reasons including:
  • Look more importantly at Added Sugars, which is 0g.
  • Contrary to common belief, fresh fruit consumption as part of an overall healthy diet is not associated with elevated blood glucose levels.  Studies show higher fresh fruit consumption is associated with lower risk of diabetes and associated complications.
  • The 9g of fiber, 16 grams of protein, and 12 g of healthy fat (only 0.9g is saturated) slow the natural sugars from turning into blood sugar.
  • This is an ideal "mixed fuel" and provides a satisfying "sweet treat" to help avoid sweet cravings later in the day.


A couple of cautions:


  • You can unknowingly consume more calories than eating the foods in their whole form.  Be aware of serving sizes.  The at-home formula above makes 2 servings (you could turn it into 4 servings if enjoying it as a sweet treat after a meal).
  • If you are getting a smoothie from a local restaurant, be especially aware of ingredients and serving sizes.  There is a fine line between a smoothie and a milkshake!  For example, Smoothie King's small The Hulk Strawberry smoothie is 20 oz and weighs in with 890 calories, 91g of added sugar, 390mg of sodium, and 16g of saturated fat.  And just because they throw a leafy green in doesn't automatically make it healthy.


All kinds of possibilities!

Here are some ideas to help start a smoothie habit:

Glowing Green Smoothie

Super Pink Smoothie

Purple Power Smoothie

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Mango Mint Green Smoothie


We would love to hear about your favorite smoothie creations!


Leave A Comment

2 Responses to No Fail Smoothies

  1. Krista,
    I have so enjoyed Eat Real America. I started out following the overnight oatmeal recipes religiously, but now no longer measure. May not be quite as healthy but getting my oats and a ton way healthier than I used to eat. I use half cup of old fashioned oats. Throw in a pinch of ground flax seed and a pinch of almonds. Coco powder if I’m feeling chocolate, yeah bout a teaspoon. I toss in handful of blueberries and two spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt. Stir and eat. This smoothie outline is going to be fun to play with.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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